Prosecutor withholding evidence in Treyvon Martin Case

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Inuyasha
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04 Dec 2012, 11:29 pm

The attorney for George Zimmerman said he is "frustrated" that prosecutors withheld a color photo of the Florida gunman that could bolster his case that Zimmerman was being beaten when he shot Trayvon Martin.

The graphic photo of Zimmerman, taken the night of his fateful confrontation with Florida teen Trayvon Martin, shows the accused murderer with a bloody face. Zimmerman’s legal team released the photo, which was taken by police, after prosecutors substituted it in for a black and white photocopy that had been submitted earlier.

"I get frustrated when certain evidence gets out and other evidence is withheld," said Mark O'Mara, attorney for Zimmerman, 29, who faces murder charges in the Feb. 26 death of Martin, 17. "The photo is not a game-changer, but it is significant.

"If I had had that picture in my hand on April 11 ...," he said, referring to the date when Zimmerman was charged with second-degree murder.

Florida rules governing discovery require that original photos be submitted, but O'Mara says that the discovery phase has been rife with issues.

"It just seems like it's been pulling teeth for discovery in this case," he said. "This case is the opposite of any I've normally taken. Usually,discovery is dumped on your desk, because it's normally good for [the prosecution]. They usually try to shove it down your throat."


Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/12/03/ne ... z2E9EwCMI2

Before people start whining about this being from Fox News, I would have included another media source as well, but thus far none of the mainstream media outlets are reporting on this, I even did a google search.

Thus far other than bloggers, only Fox News has been reporting on this, and the picture in question is on the Fox News link above.

I don't care which side people are on concerning this, the fact that the picture clearly shows a broken nose with blood running down it (which was not evident in the photoshopped "black and white" photo that the Prosecution initially turned over to the Defense clearly is an important piece of evidence for the Defense. Makes one wonder what other evidence the Prosecutor is sitting on and whether or not there will even be a fair trial.



rabidmonkey4262
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05 Dec 2012, 12:36 am

So a murder is somehow justification for a bloody nose? So what if his faced is messed up. He killed someone.


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05 Dec 2012, 12:41 am

And the fact that Fox is funded so generously by billionaires means that they're the epitome of mainstream news. Don't try to pass it up as this last bastion of free speech.


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05 Dec 2012, 1:26 am

rabidmonkey4262 wrote:
So a murder is somehow justification for a bloody nose? So what if his faced is messed up. He killed someone.

Deadly force is justified when you are in fear for your life, though if there is some questions about what happened, a jury can decide if that fear was reasonable to act on. The media has been showing pictures of him when he was 12-13. He was a lot bigger and in a lot better shape than what they showed in those photos. Treyvon Martin was a thug. I grew up and live in a heavily mixed race area where being suspicious of every black person is not practical, yet surveillance photos of him that day and I would have been nervous of him too. Zimmerman was keeping an eye out for who might have been causing a recent string of cat burglaries and he came across a hood with his hood pulled around his face so he couldn't be identified. All Zimmerman knew is that he was being attacked by a lowlife that wasn't from the neighborhood, was losing badly, and had no way of knowing how far said lowlife was going to go. If there is no conclusive evidence that Zimmerman shot him simply out of anger, then the jury will have to let him walk. So far from what I've seen, it doesn't look like there were any eyewitnesses or pictures of the incident, and there is a strong possibility the charges were politically motivated to begin with.


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05 Dec 2012, 1:45 am

rabidmonkey4262 wrote:
So a murder is somehow justification for a bloody nose? So what if his faced is messed up. He killed someone.


A broken bloody nose on its own is not justification for killing, but how can he, or any of us, know that that is the worst he would have sustained?

That's the whole idea behind self defense, preventing yourself from injured or killed. Doesn't really make sense to wait until you're already seriously injured before you defend yourself.

Zimmerman's contention is that Martin was behaving in a manner (i.e. physically assaulting him) that would cause a reasonable person to fear for their life, thus justifying his use of deadly force. Note that he doesn't have to show that Martin had already done him severe injury or intended to kill him, he only has to show that he had valid reason to fear that those things might happen.

That photo, compared to the grainy b/w copy the prosecution are using (seriously, in the original the blood and the exciting new shape of his nose are very obvious while, in the copy, you can hardly see the break and the blood just blends with his facial hair) is strong evidence in favor of his version of events.

And if Fox News has the story right (sorry Inuyasha, I realize that their bias probably doesn't seep into everything they report, but they're still not exactly my most trusted source), then Zimmerman clearly is being denied his right to a fair trial.



Inuyasha
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05 Dec 2012, 2:07 am

mds_02 wrote:
rabidmonkey4262 wrote:
So a murder is somehow justification for a bloody nose? So what if his faced is messed up. He killed someone.


A broken bloody nose on its own is not justification for killing, but how can he, or any of us, know that that is the worst he would have sustained?

That's the whole idea behind self defense, preventing yourself from injured or killed. Doesn't really make sense to wait until you're already seriously injured before you defend yourself.

Zimmerman's contention is that Martin was behaving in a manner (i.e. physically assaulting him) that would cause a reasonable person to fear for their life, thus justifying his use of deadly force. Note that he doesn't have to show that Martin had already done him severe injury or intended to kill him, he only has to show that he had valid reason to fear that those things might happen.

That photo, compared to the grainy b/w copy the prosecution are using (seriously, in the original the blood and the exciting new shape of his nose are very obvious while, in the copy, you can hardly see the break and the blood just blends with his facial hair) is strong evidence in favor of his version of events.

And if Fox News has the story right (sorry Inuyasha, I realize that their bias probably doesn't seep into everything they report, but they're still not exactly my most trusted source), then Zimmerman clearly is being denied his right to a fair trial.


Well considering this isn't the first incident of evidence being withheld or deliberately tweaked by other media outlets, I think Fox News probably has more credibility on this issue.

Anyways to update this from ABC News:

Lawyers for George Zimmerman believe that a newly released color photo of injuries their client sustained during his fatal altercation with Trayvon Martin and an alleged conversation involving Martin’s father create doubts about the strength of the murder case against the former neighborhood watch captain.

The color photo, which was released months ago in black-and-white form, shows Zimmerman’s swollen and bruised nose with blood dripping down his mouth. The image was released on the Zimmerman defense website, gzlegalcase.com. His attorneys released the image publicly Monday, along with a separate motion asking Sanford police investigator William Irwin to take another deposition because of comments he made that came to their attention after his first deposition.

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2 ... tes-doubt/

From CNN:
(CNN) -- A photo posted online Monday shows George Zimmerman with blood on his nose and lips. His attorneys say it was taken the night unarmed teen Trayvon Martin was killed in Sanford, Florida.

Zimmerman says he shot Martin in self-defense. Martin's attorneys say he was shot and killed "in cold blood."

Prosecutors have charged Zimmerman with second-degree murder for the February 26 killing.

The picture, posted Monday on Zimmerman's defense website, was taken by a police officer, Zimmerman's attorneys wrote.

http://www.cnn.com/2012/12/03/justice/g ... index.html



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05 Dec 2012, 12:13 pm

Isn't it a tad early for us all to start playing armchair judge and jury? Zimmerman's guilt or innocence is to be decided by a jury that has had the benefit of hearing all of the evidence--from both sides, not by a bunch of people who know only what the news media have seen fit to disclose.

As for the issue of disclosure, there is little excuse for prosecutors to fail in complying with disclosure. They are perfectly well aware of the rules, since they work with them every day, and they have access to the resources to ensure that they are compliant with those rules. A single failure one might reasonably overlook. But if, indeed, disclosure has been rife with issues, then all that the prosecution is doing is handing the defence a basis on which to seek exclusions, or even a stay.


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05 Dec 2012, 12:50 pm

visagrunt wrote:
Isn't it a tad early for us all to start playing armchair judge and jury? Zimmerman's guilt or innocence is to be decided by a jury that has had the benefit of hearing all of the evidence--from both sides, not by a bunch of people who know only what the news media have seen fit to disclose.

As for the issue of disclosure, there is little excuse for prosecutors to fail in complying with disclosure. They are perfectly well aware of the rules, since they work with them every day, and they have access to the resources to ensure that they are compliant with those rules. A single failure one might reasonably overlook. But if, indeed, disclosure has been rife with issues, then all that the prosecution is doing is handing the defence a basis on which to seek exclusions, or even a stay.


In this case visagrunt, the evidence the prosecution is withholding evidence which pokes holes in the Prosecution's case. The fact that George Zimmerman had a broken nose and blood coming out his nose kinda gives added credibility to Zimmerman's version of events, which is probably why the Prosecutor was sitting on this evidence.



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05 Dec 2012, 1:02 pm

John_Browning wrote:
Treyvon Martin was a thug. I grew up and live in a heavily mixed race area where being suspicious of every black person is not practical, yet surveillance photos of him that day and I would have been nervous of him too. Zimmerman was keeping an eye out for who might have been causing a recent string of cat burglaries and he came across a hood with his hood pulled around his face so he couldn't be identified. All Zimmerman knew is that he was being attacked by a lowlife that wasn't from the neighborhood, was losing badly, and had no way of knowing how far said lowlife was going to go.
I also grew up in a mixed race neighborhood. Fortunately my upbringing gave me the wisdom to look past skin color. Can't say the same for you.


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05 Dec 2012, 1:31 pm

rabidmonkey4262 wrote:
John_Browning wrote:
Treyvon Martin was a thug. I grew up and live in a heavily mixed race area where being suspicious of every black person is not practical, yet surveillance photos of him that day and I would have been nervous of him too. Zimmerman was keeping an eye out for who might have been causing a recent string of cat burglaries and he came across a hood with his hood pulled around his face so he couldn't be identified. All Zimmerman knew is that he was being attacked by a lowlife that wasn't from the neighborhood, was losing badly, and had no way of knowing how far said lowlife was going to go.
I also grew up in a mixed race neighborhood. Fortunately my upbringing gave me the wisdom to look past skin color. Can't say the same for you.


Can we get off the garbage over the kid's skin color... I highly doubt the kid's skin color had anything to do with this, you could argue the hoodie may have been a contributing factor, since to my knowledge it wasn't raining, but people in gangs whether they are white, hispanic, black, or asian often have hoodies with the hood up.

If you go back to the undoctored 911 tape, the 911 operator asked George Zimmerman what color the individual was, he didn't mention skin color until he was asked. The tape was later doctored to make Mr. Zimmerman look racist.



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05 Dec 2012, 1:38 pm

Treyvon Martin is dead. His killer is on trial. The degree of his killer's guilt will be determined by the legal system, and not by the media or a few disgruntled conspiricists and racists on a social website.

Deal with it.


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05 Dec 2012, 1:49 pm

rabidmonkey4262 wrote:
John_Browning wrote:
Treyvon Martin was a thug. I grew up and live in a heavily mixed race area where being suspicious of every black person is not practical, yet surveillance photos of him that day and I would have been nervous of him too. Zimmerman was keeping an eye out for who might have been causing a recent string of cat burglaries and he came across a hood with his hood pulled around his face so he couldn't be identified. All Zimmerman knew is that he was being attacked by a lowlife that wasn't from the neighborhood, was losing badly, and had no way of knowing how far said lowlife was going to go.
I also grew up in a mixed race neighborhood. Fortunately my upbringing gave me the wisdom to look past skin color. Can't say the same for you.

If you are assuming I'd be more sympathetic to white thug being shot by a black neighborhood watch member, you would be mistaken.


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Inuyasha
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05 Dec 2012, 1:51 pm

Fnord wrote:
Treyvon Martin is dead. His killer is on trial. The degree of his killer's guilt will be determined by the legal system, and not by the media or a few disgruntled conspiricists and racists on a social website.

Deal with it.


What makes you think there will be a fair trial? With the prosecutor deliberately withholding evidence because said evidence undermines the prosecution's case and the prosecution knows it.



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05 Dec 2012, 2:03 pm

Inuyasha wrote:
Fnord wrote:
Treyvon Martin is dead. His killer is on trial. The degree of his killer's guilt will be determined by the legal system, and not by the media or a few disgruntled conspiricists and racists on a social website.

Deal with it.


What makes you think there will be a fair trial? With the prosecutor deliberately withholding evidence because said evidence undermines the prosecution's case and the prosecution knows it.


If withholding of evidence is proved then the verdict can be appealed and perhaps a new trial granted.

ruveyn



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05 Dec 2012, 3:09 pm

Why is the Treyvon Martin case such a big deal? Don't tons of people in America get shot every year? Why is Treyvon so special?

One death is a tragedy. A million deaths is just a statistic.


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05 Dec 2012, 3:10 pm

ruveyn wrote:
Inuyasha wrote:
Fnord wrote:
Treyvon Martin is dead. His killer is on trial. The degree of his killer's guilt will be determined by the legal system, and not by the media or a few disgruntled conspiricists and racists on a social website. Deal with it.
What makes you think there will be a fair trial? With the prosecutor deliberately withholding evidence because said evidence undermines the prosecution's case and the prosecution knows it.
If withholding of evidence is proved then the verdict can be appealed and perhaps a new trial granted. ruveyn

If a new trial is granted, it's not likely that the new evidence will result in an acquittal, unless the new evidence exonerates the killer entirely, at which point a trial me not even be necessary, such as when DNA evidence shows that a man has been wrongly accused of rape 20 years after he was sentenced for the crime.


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